Wilbur H. "Will" Jennings (born June 27, 1944 in Kilgore, Texas, United States) is an American songwriter, who is popularly known for writing the lyrics for " My Heart Will Go On", the theme for the film . He has been inducted into the Titanic Songwriter's Hall of Fame and has won several awards including three Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Awards. [1 ]
Life and education [ edit ]
Jennings attended school just outside
Tyler, Texas, in the nearby Chapel Hill Independent School District. In 1967, Jennings earned his B.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University, located in Nacogdoches, Texas. He then taught at the [2 ] University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire for three years. [3 ]
Throughout his career, Jennings has written for a wide variety of artists including
Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Joe Sample, Rodney Crowell, Mariah Carey, Jimmy Buffett, Barry Manilow and Roy Orbison. [4 ] [5 ] [6 ]
With Steve Winwood, Jennings wrote a series albums including,
, Arc of a Diver and Talking Back to the Night , an album which contained the hits " Back in the High Life Higher Love", " The Finer Things", and " Back in the High Life Again". Winwood won the Record Of The Year and Outstanding Male Vocal Performance. Both Jennings and Winwood were nominated for the Song of the Year award for "Higher Love." [7 ]
With Joe Sample, Jennings wrote "
Street Life" (a world-wide hit for the Crusaders with singer Randy Crawford) and several songs for various albums by the Crusaders for guest vocalists, including Joe Cocker ("I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today"), Bill Withers ("Soul Shadows"), and Nancy Wilson (" The Way It Goes (Crusaders album)"). Jennings and Sample also wrote the better part of three albums for B.B. King, in 1978, Midnight Believer in 1979, and Take It Home in 1991. There is Always One More Time [8 ] [9 ]
Richard Kerr and Jennings wrote " Somewhere in the Night" and " Looks Like We Made It" for Barry Manilow and " I'll Never Love This Way Again" for Dionne Warwick. [10 ] [11 ]
Jennings has collaborated on many songs for films, the most notable songs being "
Up Where We Belong" for , a song which won the Academy Award in America and the BAFTA ( An Officer and a Gentleman British Academy Award) in the United Kingdom and was a number one hit for Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. In 1997, Jennings wrote the world-wide number one Céline Dion hit " My Heart Will Go On" for the film Titanic with his collaborator James Horner. They won the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture. [12 ]
Among his other collaborations were two albums written with Jimmy Buffett and
Michael Utley, and Riddles in the Sand . Jennings also wrote several songs for Roy Orbison's The Last Mango in Paris album. King Of Hearts [13 ] [14 ]
Nashville, Jennings wrote hits with Rodney Crowell, including " Many a Long and Lonesome Highway", " What Kind of Love", and " Please Remember Me", a number one country hit for Tim McGraw. [15 ]
Jennings also wrote "
Tears in Heaven" with Eric Clapton, which won song of the Year and also won the Ivor Novello award for best song from a film. [16 ]
Teaming with James Horner and
Mariah Carey, Jennings wrote the lyrics for the central song in , " How The Grinch Stole Christmas Where Are You Christmas?", sung by a character within the film and by Faith Hill at the end of the film. In 2002, Horner and Jennings contributed a song for the Oscar-winning film . A Beautiful Mind [12 ]
Peter Wolf’s new album, , appeared with positive reviews. The album featured six songs written by Jennings and Wolf, who collaborated previously on Sleepless Fool's Parade (1999) on Mercury Records. [17 ]
Jennings and Joe Sample, the keyboard player for the Crusaders, go back to 1978 and began by writing the
album for B.B. King and then wrote the hit " Midnight Believer Street Life" for the Crusaders album of the same name. Jennings and Sample also wrote " One Day I'll Fly Away", originally sung by Crawford, which was featured in the film , along with another of Jennings’s songs, " Moulin Rouge! Up Where We Belong". In the film "One Day I'll Fly Away" was sung by Nicole Kidman and, in March 2002, was released as a single in the UK from the second soundtrack album to emerge from Moulin Rouge. [18 ]
Steve Winwood: Arc of a Diver, Talking Back to the Night, Back in the High Life, Roll With It, Chronicles, Refugees Of The Heart With
Joe Sample, for B.B. King: Midnight Believer, Take It Home, There is Always One More Time With Joe Sample, for various artists:
The Crusaders Vocal Album With Joe Sample, for
Randy Crawford: Now We May Begin With
Jimmy Buffett: , Riddles in the Sand The Last Mango In Paris With
Timothy B. Schmit and Bruce Gaitsch: Timothy B. With Richard Kerr:
Welcome To The Club With
Roy Orbison: King Of Hearts With
Peter Wolf: Fool’s Parade, Sleepless, and Midnight Souvenirs
Tears in Heaven" (#2, nominated for a Golden Globe award, 1993 Grammy for Song Of The Year, 1993 Ivor Novello award from British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors)
"Who's The Blonde Stranger?"
"If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me"
Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes:
Up Where We Belong" (#1, American Academy Award, British Academy Award, Winner Tokyo Song Festival)
My Heart Will Go On" (#1, American Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Grammy for Song of the Year)
He has received the following major awards:
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]
Fame" Lyrics by Dean Pitchford, Music by Michael Gore (1980) "
Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" Music & Lyrics by Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach, Christopher Cross, & Carole Bayer Sager (1981) "
Up Where We Belong" Lyrics by Wilbur Jennings, Music by Jack Nitzsche & Buffy Sainte-Marie (1982) "
Flashdance... What a Feeling" Lyrics by Irene Cara, Keith Forsey, Music by Giorgio Moroder (1983) "
I Just Called to Say I Love You" Music & Lyrics by Stevie Wonder (1984) "
Say You, Say Me" Music & Lyrics by Lionel Richie (1985) "
Take My Breath Away" Lyrics by Tom Whitlock, Music by Giorgio Moroder (1986) "
(I've Had) The Time of My Life" Lyrics by Franke Previte, Music by John DeNicola & Donald Markowitz (1987) "
Let the River Run" Music & Lyrics by Carly Simon/" Two Hearts" Lyrics by Phil Collins, Music by Lamont Dozier (1988) "
Under the Sea" Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken (1989)